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Friday, April 18, 2014  

Afghans remain indifferent to Obama re-election
KABUL Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday congratulated US President Barack Obama on his re-election, but many in the war-weary nation shrugged off the news as foreign forces prepare to withdraw.

Karzai has said in the past that the election outcome would have little impact on Afghanistan as the US strategy towards the country was already set. But on Wednesday he wished Obama success and said he hoped for expanded ties.

“The president hopes that with President Obama’s re-election relations between Afghanistan and the United States, based on bilateral interests, are further expanded,” his spokesman Aimal Faizi said.

On the streets, however, indifference ruled.

“For me it really doesn’t matter,” said Nasrullah, a mobile phone retailer in the insurgency-plagued southern province of Kandahar.

“Whether Obama or Romney, it is the same. (Former president George W.) Bush, Obama — none of them could solve the problems of Afghanistan,” Nasrullah, who uses just one name, said.

Mohammed Sharif Athar, a student of Islamic law in Kabul, said: “All US presidents’ policies in Islamic countries have failed because they are there for their own interests. We want our own president to do something.”

One of the few with a strong preference, university student Mohammad Haroun, said: “Bush was generous. He spent lots of money in Afghanistan.  

“Since Obama has taken over, the troubles have increased in Afghanistan, so I’d have preferred Romney, who is a Republican like Bush.”

Taliban insurgents told  Obama to admit that the United States has lost the war in Afghanistan and pull its troops out now.

“Obama must by now know that they have lost the war in Afghanistan,” spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement posted on the Islamists’ website.

“So, without further lying and delays, they should leave our sacred land.”

Agencies
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